Good Thursday morning, Illinois. It sure feels like the before times at the state Capitol with tourists wandering the halls and lawmakers worried about getting everything done by their April 8 deadline.
The Democratic Governors Association is pouring $728,000 into a statewide advertising blitz focused on the Illinois Republican race for governor.
The first ad ran early this morning. It’s a 30-second spot that targets Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin’s career as a defense attorney (before he became a prosecutor) and questions his decision to represent "violent criminals" accused of domestic abuse, child pornography and sexual assault in the past. "Tell Mayor Richard Irvin: Stop pretending to be tough on crimine. Start supporting policies that keep people safe," a voice in the ad says. Like all third-party ads, this one features an off-camera voice. The goal is to rev up Republicans to vote for Darren Bailey, or maybe any of the other GOP candidates, over Irvin.
There’s nothing Republicans hate more than a candidate who’s not tough enough on crime, or conservative enough on social issues — at least that’s what the DGA and Gov. JB Pritzker’s campaign are hoping.
Irvin’s campaign responded, saying Pritzker is “hiding behind” the DGA. It calls the ad blitz a “smear campaign against Richard Irvin,” according to a statement. And coincidentally, Irvin earlier this week, came out with an ad that says “I’m their worst nightmare.”
The governor’s campaign referred questions about the ad to the DGA, which said it wouldn’t release any information until after the ad starts running.
In the meantime, isn’t it interesting that Pritzker donated $250,000 to the DGA in December? His campaign told Playbook not to read too much into that. The governor donates to Democratic caucus and candidates regularly, after all. “How the DGA uses their money is up to them,” said a spokesperson.
This isn’t the first time the DGA has meddled in an Illinois Republican primary. Four years ago, it launched ads calling former state Rep. Jeanne Ives “too conservative” for the state, which was a boost to her campaign during the primary contest against Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
The tactic didn’t work. Rauner edged out Ives in the primary.
PARTY LINE: Chicago is being considered to host the Democratic National Convention in 2024, a move that would give an economic boost to the city and put it in the spotlight for its handling of crime — a key issue for Democrats across the country.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Gov. JB Pritzker, Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin, and party leader and Congresswoman Robin Kelly are working behind the scenes along with a cadre of business, civic and community leaders on the effort.
“Chicago has a track record of successfully hosting large-scale events, and has the leadership required to make a convention a success,” Tarrah Cooper Wright, CEO of Rise Strategy Group, which is helping on the Chicago bid, said in a statement to Playbook.
She’s speaking from experience: Wright was press secretary to former Mayor Rahm Emanuel when the city hosted the 2012 NATO Summit.
Why Chicago: “Last fall, Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison flew to Chicago to meet with Pritzker, and that’s when the Democratic governor made his pitch for the city to host the 2024 convention, sources familiar with the meeting confirmed,” according to Sun-TImes’ Lynn Sweet.
Wright said a decision on whether to respond to the DNC’s request for proposals to host the event would be considered “in the near future.”
Duckworth is expected to play a key role in the effort as she is DNC vice chair.
A Chicago convention would be the first gathering of a major political party in the city since it hosted Democrats at the United Center in 1996. The city also famously hosted the 1968 Democratic convention, which of course became infamous for its scenes of protest and a violent police crackdown.
From Tribune’s Rick Pearson and Gregory Pratt: Selecting Chicago, with its dominance by Democrats at the city and state level, "would run counter to more recent efforts by Democrats and Republicans to host their showcase presidential nominating conventions in cities in swing states that could affect the national election.”
Supporters of Chicago as host say its Midwest locale — touching the swing states of Michigan and Wisconsin — make it especially attractive.
NBC’s Natasha Korecki, who first reported the news, said “Las Vegas is another city that is a potential strong contender, a source involved in the bidding process said.”
— Relax: Chicago has done this before, writes Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg
— Chicago’s political convention history is a rich one, via Sun-Times
Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? Get in touch: [email protected]
No official public events.
At City Hall at 10:30 a.m. for an announcement related to transportation assistance. ABC 7 has some details
No official public events.
— ‘Environmental justice’ law appears dead as community, business groups clash: “Despite pleas from residents concerned about their health, a bill to protect overburdened communities from more pollution doesn’t have the votes in Springfield to pass during an election year,” by Sun-Times’ Brett Chase.
— Families of crime victims call for alternatives to traditional law-and-order methods: “Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s budget proposal includes roughly $240 million for violence prevention organizations that specialize in mediating street conflicts and connecting those most at risk of being a party to violence with various social services,” by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner.
— Bill requiring more breaks for workers passes both chambers: “The proposal sponsored by Rep. Lakesia Collins (D-Chicago), would require employers to provide a day of rest in seven days of consecutive work, as opposed to previous law that would only require a day of rest once a calendar week,” by Heart of Illinois’ Lizzie Seils.
— Lawmakers pass ban on withholding college transcripts, by Capitol News’ Peter Hancock
NO MORE SECRET DEALS — A coalition of advocacy groups is launching a campaign to persuade states — including Illinois — to ban closed-door negotiations over economic development deals, a practice Amazon, General Motors and EV companies like Canoo and Rivian have been known to employ. Legislation is already pending in Illinois, New York, Michigan, and Florida.
“This is public resources, taxpayer dollars and the people voted into office signing agreements saying they can’t divulge what they are going to do with that money,” said Pat Garofalo of antimonopoly group American Economic Liberties. He helped build a database of such deals. “Corporations are trying to cut other stakeholders out of discussion until it’s too late.” via POLITICO’s Morning Tech
— Learning about racism’s legacy in Southern Illinois through a trip to Montgomery, Ala.: Now those who traveled there want to “start conversations around what they learned,” by Marilyn Halstead
— DEAR GOVERNOR: Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle recently wrote Gov. JB Pritzker urging him to secure passage of a bill that would offer tax relief to low- and middle-income earners.
— Law enforcement leaders call for stronger early childhood opportunities, by WMBD’s Annie Kate
SPRINGFIELD: The Sullivan Party returned this week. That’s the event that started in 2003 when there were three Sullivans serving in the General Assembly. Former Rep. Ed Sullivan, former Sens. Dave Sullivan and John Sullivan, and as many as 10 lobbyists named Sullivan were serving in the Legislature. “We thought we should form the Sullivan caucus,” Ed Sullivan told Playbook yesterday.
Instead, they started holding an annual party. A band called the Emerald Underground has played every year since it started, and the Illinois Elks Pipes and Drums, a bagpipe group, also entertains. The Sullivan organizers also pass a hat to raise money for charity. This year it was to help the Emerald Underground drummer, who’s had health issues. “It’s a lot of fun because it’s bipartisan, bicameral, and all the staffs are invited. Anyone under the dome can come,” said Ed Sullivan, who now works as a lobbyist.
Spotted at Tuesday’s party: state Senate President Don Harmon, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie, and numerous staffers of Republican gubernatorial candidate Jesse Sullivan, who was on the campaign trail and couldn’t make it.
— Lightfoot shifts gears — to gas cards and Ventra credits — to provide relief for struggling commuters: “Last week, the City Council’s Finance Committee abruptly canceled a hearing on Lightfoot’s plan reduce the city’s gas tax. Now, the mayor is talking about offering gas cards to motorists and Ventra card credits to CTA riders,’” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Lightfoot expected to appoint Deborah Witzburg as inspector general, city’s top watchdog: Witzburg “joined the inspector general’s office in May 2016 and rose to become the deputy inspector general for public safety. She resigned the position in November to pursue the inspector general job,” by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt.
— Jam Productions turns 50: “Former partners Arny Granat and Jerry Mickelson recall the gigs, twists and turns in Chicago’s rock ‘n’ roll success story,” by Tribune’s Rick Kogan.
— CPS removes Whitney Young teacher who hung Black doll from cord in classroom, by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa
— Chicago Covid cases up 34% in a week, but city still ‘in good control,’ top doc says, by Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout
— Vaccination rate disparities persist in Chicago Public Schools, by Chalkbeat’s Mauricio Pena and Thomas Wilburn
— Cook County property tax bills will likely be 6 months late. Whose fault is that? “Assessor Fritz Kaegi and the chair of the Board of Review trade charges on a developing big mess for local governments,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.
— Arlington Heights police deploy first set of body cameras, by Daily Herald’s Christopher Placek
— Lisle allows backyard hens, by Daily Herald’s Scott C. Morgan
Judge dismisses lawsuit over Obama center location in Jackson Park, but but but: “Protects Our Parks founder and head Herb Caplan wrote in a statement to the Tribune that the group fully expected this outcome and will appeal to the 7th Circuit,” by Tribunee’s Alice Yin.
We asked for your favorite meeting spots in Springfield, and Katie Davison, director of state relations for Northern Illinois University, came up with such a great list we’re giving her the floor:
Best coffee in town: Custom Cup.
Favorite breakfast spot: Incredibly Delicious or LuLu’s Diner.
Favorite lunch spot: Magic Kitchen or Cafe Moxo.
Favorite dinner spot: Saputos or Maldeners (bar only for optimal legislator spotting).
Favorite hidden gem happy hour spot: Hair of the Dog back room and Sportsman’s Lounge (not new to the old-school Springfield folks).
Old reliable happy hour spots: JP Kelley’s, The Globe, Boones patio, Obed & Isaac’s beer garden.
Non-food/drink meeting spots: UIS Innovate Springfield business incubator (5th & Adams)
What’s the book that gave you the best insight on how to do your job? Email [email protected]
— Dem-on-Dem primary in Michigan spikes party’s blood pressure, by POLITICO’s Sarah Ferris
— Local governments have billions in federal Covid cash and no workers to pay, by POLITICO’s Eleanor Mueller
— ‘The president will get his way’: Congress likely can’t stop new Iran nuke deal, by POLITICO’s Andew Desiderio
Mark Maxwell, the hard-charging political reporter at WCIA in Springfield is leaving to report on politics in St. Louis for 5 On Your Side, an NBC affiliate. Along with news reporting, the award-winning Maxwell has hosted a state-wide political talk show, Capitol Connection.
WTTW cuts off health coverage for striking workers: “The company’s move comes as no new talks have been scheduled in a walkout that began March 16,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder
Today at 6 p.m.: C-Strategies’ Becky Carroll headlines a virtual training series organized by the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association on “effective communication with the media.” Register here
WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Bill Henkel for correctly answering that former state Sen. William “Billy” Marovitz was injured once on his way home after a Cubs game when his bicycle was sideswiped by a hit-and-run driver.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the Lincoln scholar and literary appraiser who served as president of the Chicago Public Library board? Email [email protected]
State Sen. Terri Bryant, former state Rep. Josh Harms, former state Rep. Charles “Chuck” Jefferson, Ariel Investments founder John Rogers Jr., Chicago Architecture Foundation CEO and soon-to-be head of Choose Chicago Lynn Osmond, Planned Parenthood of Illinois advocacy director Rianne Hawkins, author Alex Kotlowitz, Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office comms director Philip P. Lasseigne, and arts entrepreneur Richard Weinberg.
March 31, 2022 at 08:22AM